Noble metals manifest themselves with unique electronic structures and irreplaceable activity toward a wide range of catalytic applications but are unfortunately restricted by limited choice of geometric structures spanning single atoms, clusters, nanoparticles, and bulk crystals. Herein, we propose how to overcome this limitation by integrating noble metal atoms into the lattice of transition metal oxides to create a new type of hybrid structure. This study shows that iridium single atoms can be accommodated into the cationic sites of cobalt spinel oxide with short-range order and an identical spatial correlation as the host lattice. The resultant Ir0.06Co2.94O4 catalyst exhibits much higher electrocatalytic activity than the parent oxide by 2 orders of magnitude toward the challenging oxygen evolution reaction under acidic conditions. Because of the strong interaction between iridium and cobalt oxide support, the Ir0.06Co2.94O4 catalyst shows significantly improved corrosion resistance under acidic conditions and oxidative potentials. This work eliminates the "close-packing" limitation of noble metals and offers promising opportunity to create analogues with desired topologies for various catalytic applications.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry